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Snakes are waking up in Nova Scotia, but there's no need to fear them

Monday, April 5th 2021, 12:18 pm - Spring is a busy time for snakes, and that's a good thing.

Most snakes in Nova Scotia hibernate from September to April, but if you spot one as they begin to wake up, don't worry. There are five species of snake native to Nova Scotia, and none of them are poisonous.

In fact -- if you spot one in your garden, consider it a good sign. That's especially true for the ones with smooth green and red bellies, a.k.a., called the eastern smooth green and the northern redbelly. These two species are a big help to farmers because they eat slugs and insects, helping to prevent infestations.

Nova Scotia's largest snake is the maritime garter, which is between 46 to 66 centimetres on average but can reach lengths up to 90 centimetres.

And it's not gar-den snake -- it's a gar-ter snake, which is a common misconception.

The species got its name from its markings, which resemble an old-timey garter that used to hold up men's socks.

Ectothermic reptiles get their heat from their environment, so you won't see them moving around much if it's cold as opposed to when it heats up.

If you pick one up, these snakes have the ability to musk on you which leaves a foul smell on your hands, but you won't be hurt.

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